2019 International Relations B

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Kawana Shinji 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue5-6(S421)  Fri5-6(S421)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

Today all nations are supposed to be “equal” on sovereignty, but historically, the way that such a international order is not universal. In this lecture, we will consider when and how the "international relations" that we think today are beginning. Especially, in Europe which was the center of the Cold War, what did the US and the Soviet Union fight for? How did the major powers get involved in the Cold War and how they tried to overcome them? From this point of view we analyze the process of interaction among the great powers. The objectives of this lecture is to break the fixed viewpoint that thinks "present" as universal.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand the historical development of international politics as a problem of politics among nations seeking "power".
2) Analyze today's international political situation based on historical context.


history, sovereignty, power, international cooperation, cold war, terrorism

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Lectures and Discussions: This course requires students to take an active role in their own learning.It is essentially important for students to attend all the classes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introductory Remarks Understand the significance of history to understand modern international politics.
Class 2 What is international relations? Understand what international relations is as 'social science'.
Class 3 Birth of the modern state concept, "sovereignty". Understand what is the ”state" in international politics.
Class 4 War and great powers Understand the dynamism of international politics through the history of war.
Class 5 World War Ⅰ and the interwar period How did "total war" affect international politics? Understand the "prologue" to the next tragedy.
Class 6 World War Ⅱ Understand the dynamics of the end of the war from the viewpoint of the "exit strategy".
Class 7 Establishment of the Bretton Woods system and post-war international order What is the "governance"? Understand the balance of power and cooperation.
Class 8 The beginning of the Cold WarⅠ(1) What is "hegemony"? Was the Cold War inevitable? Understand the postwar strategy of major powers.
Class 9 The beginning of the Cold WarⅠ(2) What is a system of alliances? Understand the process of establishing NATO.
Class 10 Progress of the cold war: deterrence and cooperation What is "nuclear equilibrium"? Understand the era of deterrence and cooperation.
Class 11 Detent and Nationalism Understand the international and domestic interactions brought by detents.
Class 12 The new world order after the Cold War What was the end of the Cold War? Understand the dawn of a new world order.
Class 13 Empire Can the United States be identified as a empire? Understand the new work on empire in political theory.
Class 14 Paradigm shifts and 9.11 What is the war on terrorism? Understand the reason for being called "new" one.
Class 15 Continuity or discontinuity? Find the structure of international relations in history.


All materials are provided during class.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

See Japanese information.                                                  Supplemental materials will be distributed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Midterm exams 20%                  Final exams 80%

Related courses

  • LAH.S104 : International Relations A
  • LAH.S305 : International Relations C

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

There are no pre‐requisites for the course.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).


Office hours

Contact by e-mail in advance to schedule an appointment.

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